Modi condoles deaths in Cooch Behar, blames TMC for violence

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(Eds: With additional inputs) Siliguri (WB), Apr 10 (PTI) Condoling the death of five people in Cooch Behar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday requested the Election Commission to take stern action against those responsible and blamed the ruling TMC for perpetrating violence during the polls.

He also accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of instigating people against the central forces.

'What happened in Cooch Behar is unfortunate and sad.

I extend my condolences to the bereaved families and request the Election Commission to take stern action against those responsible for the incident.

'Mamata Didi and her TMC goons have become jittery because of the groundswell of support for BJP. She is instigating people against the security forces. Didi is giving instructions on how to gherao and beat up our security forces.

Is this the way you treat our brave hearts? She has stooped to this level as she can see her chair slipping away,' Modi told an election rally here in North Bengal.

Four people were killed when CISF personnel opened fire allegedly after coming under attack from locals, who 'attempted to snatch their rifles' in Cooch Behar district.

The incident took place in Sitalkuchi area when voting was underway, a senior district police officer said.

In a separate incident in the same constituency, a first-time voter was shot dead by unidentified miscreants outside a polling booth.

'Didi, this violence, the tactic of instigating people to attack the security forces, the tactic of obstructing the polling process will not protect you. You have to go out of power. Didi is asking people to attack and gherao security forces.

'Didi did not get angry at the goons who persecuted the poor for 10 years, the murderers, the robbers. But Didi is angry at the security forces who are protecting the rights of the people of Bengal,' he said.

Attacking Banerjee over the culture of violence and 'tolabaji' (extortion), Modi said people of Bengal had made up their mind to defeat the TMC.

'Didi, you don't preside over the destiny of the people of Bengal, they are not your 'jagir' (fiefdom). You will not decide the destiny of the people of Bengal. Didi's days of misrule are numbered. She is angry because people of Bengal have showered their love on me,' he said.

North Bengal, he said, was critical to national security which has been undermined due to the appeasement politics of Banerjee.

The prime minister said the situation will be delt with firmly.

'If BJP comes to power, Bengal will be free from cut money culture. We will work day and night for the development of the state. We are committed to free the 3Ts (Tea, Tourism and Timber) from the control of mafia,' he asserted.

Reaching out to the numerically strong Dalit Rajbongshi and Matua communities, Modi said the TMC insults them and claimed a party leader was shown in a video likening the scheduled caste people to beggars.

'Your ego has reached such a level, Didi, that you and your leaders insult the SC people. This is shameful,' he said.

He alleged Banerjee did not give the poor, dalits, tribals and backward classes their due. There is 'tolabaji' and 'cut money' in every scheme of the state government, he said.

Calling for building a Bengal that is free from 'corruption and violence', Modi said it is time to change the kind of political environment that has been created in the state over the past several decades.

'A 'Tolabaaj mukt', 'Syndicate mukt' 'Cut money mukt' Bengal will be built now,' he asserted.

Modi demanded an account of work done by Banerjee and her nephew. The BJP has often targeted Abhishek Banerjee, the Diamond Harbour MP and Banerjee's nephew over alleged corruption in government schemes.

'Didi's goons aren't able to do 'chhappa votes' (rig elections) this time around and so she's is angry. She never presented her report card for 10 years. She should be giving the account of her works, her nephew's works and her goons' works,' he said. PTI PNT SK SK